In March 2016, at the age of 35, I was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer. Only 3% of patients live 5 years or longer after receiving this diagnosis. Most die within the first year. I have a beautiful wife and two young children. This blog chronicles my experiences with cancer and the lessons I learn along the way.

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No longer with us in body

It is with great sorrow that I write this update. Rob, also well known as Dr. Yale and Daddy, died in his sleep early morning on April 25, 2017. 

On Sunday, he started wearing the oxygen cannula because he was finding it so difficult to breathe on his own and he had lost almost all control of his hands. Yet, he still had his dad and I typing responses to many of the messages and texts he received. He was still making plans to have visitors and phone conversations. One of the many things I loved about him. 

Rob was always the one with the right words and the compeling narrative, so I will just say that he may be gone in body but his teachings, both in and out of the classroom, will live on in all who knew him. For me, he taught me most about trust, love, and friendship. Those are the three words I had engraved in his wedding band, but they are so much more true today after twelve years of marriage. He lived his life as an outpouring of God's love in him.

Thank you so much for the overwhelming support that has been given to us over the past year. Rob and I were speechless so many times by the generosity of funds, food, and time. Details of the memorial service will follow once it is scheduled. 

Reader Comments (62)

Melissa ~ Through tears for us, with you, we rejoice that Rob no longer is in pain. You are right; his leadership and teachings will continue to influence people for God. May God continue to wrap you and the rest of the family, as well as friends and those touched by your story, tightly in Jesus' loving arms as we face the days ahead. So thankful you're part of our family. We love you. We're here for you. Caren aka Rob's Aunt Suzie

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCaren

Love you, Melissa. Praying for strength and comfort.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJulia Forshee

Melissa... Ruthie and I share our heartfelt condolences. Peace and all our love in Jesus.... Doug

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Shepherd

Prayers and hugs to you and the kids, Melissa!

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterThe Davis family

I am so very sorry for your loss. I didn't know Rob well, but just from reading his posts, he seemed like a truly amazing man. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. ❤️

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Seward

I will continue to pray for you and your family Melissa. Rob was a terrific person and had such a large impact on so many people. He will be missed but always remembered.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRuss

For the last month or so I have checked facebook every morning and evening to see if there were any updates. On my way to work there is a certain spot where I can see the sun rise and I would pray that the sun would be shining brightly for Dr. Yale and your family. Today, I know that Dr. Yale is enjoying the beautiful sunshine knowing how much he was loved and admired by so many. Today, I pray that the sun will shine brightly for you and your family knowing that you shared a wonderful person with all of us. May Mary wrap her arms around you, your sweet children, his parents, and all who mourn his loss today. I just know that God said good job, my son!

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterValeria Johnson

Heartbroken, please let us know what we can do. Love you all.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKurt and Jill

I'm feel so incredibly thankful to call you all family. You have pointed so many to Christ during this entire journey, and today, Rob is meeting Jesus. Oh goodness, that thought is overwhelming and beautiful. And still, I am so sorry that you had to say good bye. So much love and prayer for you all! I feel privileged to have met Rob.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJess Lyons

Melissa, Clint and Cathie

We are so sorry to hear - words cannot express what an inspiration Rob was even to people he had never
Met. Sending thoughts and prayers for comfort to you all and much love. Aunt
Kathie and Uncle Denny and family.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAunt Kathie

My thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time. Rob will live on in are hearts! He was an amazing person, who has touched so many lives. God Bless!

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly Pfarr

You have my profound love and prayers. I know what you are going thru at this time, as Gene is in his last few days, If there is anything in the world I can do for you Meliissa and the children please let me know. Clint and Cathy you know I will be there for you. Rob touch so many lives that he we be sorely missed. Love you all.
Aunt Ann

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAunt Ann Brannon

So very sorry for your loss!
Our thoughts and prayers are with you
and the kids during this this difficult time.

I am heartbroken. Each morning I waited for to read his post. I knew the day would come and this post would appear. During church services Sunday, I thought of Robert several times as our pastor spoke. Watching someone transition and suffer with cancer is difficult. I have seen only one other person do so with Grace. We are here to support you and your children, Melissa. May God and his angels wrap you with love. Thank you so much for sharing this last year with us. I pray Robert's post help someone else.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCarole

I am so sorry, Melissa! Rob was one of the most enthusiastic and joyful people I've ever known and I know what he meant to you. My heart has been breaking for you and your sweet babies ever since Rob first announced his diagnosis. I have been praying for you all every day and will continue to lift you up as you move forward. Love to you all!

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterErin Doss

Cannot imagine the eloquent speech he had prepared for our Savior. We cherish the memories.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJudy and Abe Awabdy

May you find comfort amidst your immense grief.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Malone

Dear Melissa, Raegan and Matthew, My thoughts and prayer with you. God bless you. Love and Hugs, Lala

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterlala

There are no words to comfort, we were glad to know such an individual as Rob and we continue to pray for you and the family. May you all be at peace.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBianca

Dr. Yale taught me a great deal in class. He taught me even more these past few months as I was able to follow your journey. He has set an example of courage which I hope and pray to be able to imitate. The Yale Family will continue to be in my prayers.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn Mihaliak

Melissa- we've been praying from afar. Janelle Rupp (my sister) has kept us updated. How we've ached for you and yours and pleaded with God for his healing here on earth. With this news, know that the prayers won't stop...they've merely changed. We pray today as ones who have hope that Rob has been healed to perfection and that he will be seen again, and we pray today in a new way for you and yours as we realize the loss is vast. May God be gracious to you and in small and big ways prove to you His love, His faithfulness, and the joy of your and Robs salvation.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJaime Farrell

To Malissa and all the family...Our deepest condolences on your loss.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam & Liza Hemphill

Prayers for your family. The UD community was so blessed to have had Dr. Yale with us.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTaryn Anderson

So sorry for your loss. I have such fond memories of Rob during our time together in school. Thinking of you and your family during this difficult time.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

I am so sorry that Rob is no longer with us. I feel your loss, admire your love for him, and sending much love and warm hugs.

April 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterZeynep

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